The First Annual Blockchain Awards

Blockchain and the Bitcoin Foundation have partnered together to host the first annual Blockchain Awards to celebrate innovation and excellence in the Bitcoin community.

Awards will be announced across a number of categories including Most Influential InvestorMost Insightful Journalist, and Bitcoin Champion. We have posted the full list of categories below, which is also available at

Blockchain Awards Categories:

  • Most Impactful Charity
  • Most Creative Video
  • Most Informative Podcast
  • Most Influential Investor
  • Best ATM Design
  • Most Insightful Journalist
  • Best Mobile App
  • Bitcoin Legal Expert
  • Visionary Academic Paper
  • Bitcoin Champion

Nominations will open today, April 16th. Blind voting on the three most nominated companies or individuals will be announced and available on May 7th. Finalists will be refined to just three nominees for each category. Voting on the top three finalists of each category will commence May 7th and is open to anyone through the website. The event will take place in the main space of the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam.

Nicolas Cary, CEO of Blockchain, explained that “with these awards we hope to take a moment and reflect on the amazing contributions from the Bitcoin community. We want to honor the exceptional quality, leadership, and technical innovation we see every day”.


The Blockchain Awards – May 16th, 2014

Bitcoin 2014 Conference, Amsterdam

Blockchain will donate 1 BTC to each category winner, and the award will be permanently and historically written into the block chain as proof of ownership.

“The Foundation works hard to recognize and advocate for innovation and ingenuity across the Bitcoin community,” said Jon Matonis, Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation. “These awards are a unique opportunity to showcase these accomplishments and celebrate an extraordinary year for Bitcoin.”

Original post from Blockchain Blog


Coin For Coffee Seeks Simple Way To Buy a Cup of Joe



Ever wanted to buy a cup of Starbucks coffee with your bitcoins? With Coin For Coffee‚ now you can.

As its co–founder and CEO Matt Luongo explained to CoinDesk‚ Card For Coin leverages Starbucks′ existing gift card infrastructure to process payments using digital currency.

He put it simply:

“We want people to be able to spend their bitcoins wherever they want.”

How it works

Coin For Coffee sports a simple interface. Users choose how much they want to upload (ranging from $5 to $50).

After confirming a user′s email address‚  the system produces a bitcoin address in which to deposit the amount. Users send the amount they want to spend‚ and Coin For Coffee produces a barcode.

The barcode is then scanned at the Starbucks register as if it′s a gift card. Once the transaction is complete‚  any remaining bitcoins are returned to the owner after roughly 30 minutes.

Origins of the project

The team behind Coin For Coffee is the same that developed Card For Coin‚  an online solution for exchanging the value of Starbucks gift cards for bitcoins.

That project has since been delayed pending regulatory approval. The team has no official relationship with Starbucks.

When asked about the differences between the two projects‚ Luongo framed them as two sides of the same coin.

“So far the reception has been just as positive. I think one of the differences is that we′re asking people to do more. It′s a different group of people being excited.”

Looking ahead‚  Luongo sees a future in the project and hopes that Coin For Coffee will be able to tap coffee retailers beyond Starbucks.

The team is also developing a dedicated mobile app. User interest‚ according to Luongo‚ has been positive. He said that more people have expressed enthusiasm for Coin For Coffee compared to Card For Coin.

Ways for consumers to spend bitcoins grow

Loadable spending tools‚  either browser–based or card–based‚ are becoming increasingly prevalent world wide.

BitInvest‚  a digital currency exchange based in Brazil‚ is preparing to releaseCoincard‚ a bitcoin–friendly payment card branded by MasterCard.

Cryptex‚ a Hong Kong–based startup‚  recently launched a bitcoin debit card that reportedly works at the vast majority of ATMs in the United States.

Last month‚ Gyft announced that it has added Wal–Mart to its growing list of retailers within its bitcoin giftcard merchant network.

Coffee cup and beans on a white background image via Shutterstock

Article credit: CoinDesk

Monoprix in France, Another Retail Chain to Accept Bitcoin Payment

Major French retail chain Monoprix is making plans to start accepting bitcoin payments on its merchant website this year, according to the company’s director of e–commerce,Patrick Oualid. Although Monoprix is not the first merchant who first accepts the virtual currency, Qualid explain thath the company takes the same approach with bitcoin.


When asked why he thought accepting bitcoin payments would be good for his company Oualid explained:

“Monoprix has always been a pioneer and sought to bring to its customers what we do not necessarily see elsewhere. For 2,500 years, the Phoenicians sailed the seas to seek different products in the countries bordering the Mediterranean. We want to fill the same role.”


There is not yet much understanding of the “magnitude” of bitcoin according to Oualid but many at the company, even he, believe that bitcoin is not a flash in the pan.

Monoprix opened its first store in the French city of Rouen in 1938. It now has a presence in 85% of French towns and combines food retailing with hardware, clothing, household items and gifts. A subsidiary of the Casino Group, the company had over 300 stores across France as of 2008, according to online sources.

See more here


BREAKING NEWS: Rep. Stockman To Introduce First Bitcoin Bill

Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX), announced this morning at Inside Bitcoins NYC that he plans to introduce the first piece of U.S. legislation on virtual currencies this afternoon. The Virtual Currency Tax Reform Act would authorize the Internal Revenue Service to treat virtual currencies as currency for federal tax purposes. The bill finds that:
“The Classification of virtual currencies as property means that users would be required to pay capital gains tax on any transaction using the virtual currency based on any gain over the virtual currency’s value from the time of purchase.”


The IRS issued guidance for virtual currencies on March 25, 2014 that stated virtual currencies, including Bitcoin, are to be treated as property for federal tax purposes. This requires capital gains on virtual currencies to be recorded and reported. The Bitcoin Foundation says this could lead to unrealistic reporting.
Rep. Steve Stockman said that he is introducing this bill “to build awareness and create a consensus in the Bitcoin community around government regulation of virtual currencies… I don’t think anyone really has a flavor of what they want and I want to start the Bitcoin conversations.”
Rep. Stockman is the first member of U.S. Congress to accept Bitcoin contributions.

Article credit: Forbes

Read more here!

US Oil and gas equipment supplier now accepts Bitcoin as payment

oil-gas eqpt

Decades into the oil industry, specializing high pressure equipments has catered to local and international clients which in turn face problems in settling payments. In the advent of digital currency, bitcoin, payments are made easy wherever you are in the world.

No wonder Mountain Equipment of New Mexico, Inc accepts its idea of using it as announced in their site last March 17, 2014.

Mt. Gox: 200 Thousand Missing Bitcoins, Found!

850‚000 bitcoin went missing under the roof of Mt. Gox since it started in operations in 2009. An estimated worth in current market price of over 121 million dollars.

In sudden turn of events in March 7‚ 2014, luck strike on the exchange as 200‚000 bitcoins were unearthed in the exchange′s old wallet format.

Read on the official statement released by Mt. Gox below.


6 Bitcoin Basics for Beginners


Bitcoin backers say it’s the future of money. Doubters call it “evil.” Good, bad, or downright misguided, these days everyone has something to say about Bitcoin, even if they don’t necessarily understand the world’s most popular virtual currency.

Post-Mt. Gox bankruptcy and FBI Silk Road shakedown, many are still trying their wrap their minds around Bitcoin. And we don’t blame them. The controversial cryptocurrency, and just about every aspect of it, is incredibly confusing, especially if you believe the misconceptions about it being recycled in the mainstream media.

Related: 3 Big Misconceptions About Bitcoin

So, let’s slow down the runaway Bitcoin rumor train a minute and review exactly what it is and why everyone’s buzzing about it, starting with these six basic Bitcoin questions, unraveled:

1. What are bitcoins?

Bitcoins are decentralized, purely digital virtual coins exchanged directly between two parties online with no middle man. Unlike modern fiat money, Bitcoin, which has often been called “cash for the Internet,” is not controlled or backed by any bank or central government authority, like the Federal Reserve, for example.

Bitcoins are pieces of computer code — mathematical algorithms, actually — that represent monetary units. There are currently approximately 11 million Bitcoins in existence. In all, only about 21 million Bitcoin will ever be generated through the year 2140. Unlike credit card transactions, Bitcoin transactions, which take place internationally every day, are irreversible; they can only be refunded by the person receiving the funds.

2. Are bitcoins anonymous and untraceable?

No, contrary to popular belief, they aren’t. While Bitcoin users don’t have to divulge certain pieces of identifying information, like their bank account and Social Security numbers or physical addresses, a traceable trail of each of transaction is left behind in a public log known as the blockchain. The public record prevents people from spending the same bitcoins more than once.

Bitcoin exchanges that operate in the U.S. collect personal identifying information from their users, which can be requested via subpoena.

Related: How the World’s Richest Nations Are Regulating Bitcoin

3. How are bitcoins purchased?

Bitcoins are bought online using real analog money (U.S. dollars, Japanese yen, etc.) via Bitcoin exchanges and private sellers. Some of the more popular Bitcoin exchanges include Bitstamp and Coinbase, though there are dozens to choose from around the globe.

4. How can I start using Bitcoin?

You don’t have to master all of the technical ins and outs of Bitcoin to start using it. First, you’ll need to install a Bitcoin wallet on your computer or smartphone. Or you can use a web wallet in the cloud.

Some desktop Bitcoin wallets (also sometimes called clients) include Bitcoin-Qt, Armory, Electrum, Hive, and MultiBit. If you use a desktop wallet provider, be sure to backup your computer regularly.

Mobile Bitcoin wallets, like Bitcoin Wallet for Android, let you use Bitcoin to pay for items in physical stores that accept them by scanning a QR code or using NFC “tap to pay.” Web wallets, such as Coinbase and enable you to use Bitcoin from any browser or mobile device and often offer additional services, like current Bitcoin prices and news and the ability to buy, use and accept the cryptocurrency.

Once you’re signed up, your Bitcoin wallet provider should generate your first Bitcoin address and you can create more whenever you need one, according to The Bitcoin Foundation. You can share you addresses with friends and contacts so they can pay you and you can pay them in Bitcoin.

Related: More Major Retailers Are Getting Ready to Accept Bitcoin

5. Which companies accept Bitcoin payments?

Thousands of businesses throughout the world currently accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. While once notorious as payment for illegal goods online, thousands of reputable e-commerce businesses are starting to accept BTC as payment, including Etsy vendors, WordPress,, Larger brick and mortar retailers are beginning to accept Bitcoins in their stores, including Kmart, Sears, Home Depot and CVS.

6. What are Bitcoins currently worth?

As of 5:18 p.m. ET today, the currency was trading at $650.61, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index. Values often fluctuate wildly from day to day.

Though bitcoins are relatively new, but they’re growing at a breakneck pace. The Bitcoin market is worth approximately $7 billion at current market rates, with millions of dollars of the digital currency being traded daily.


Article from:


6 Up and Running Bitcoin ATMs in Singapore

It′s 6 atms and counting as Singapore move onwards with using famed digital currency‚ bitcoin‚ giving easy access through these little machines.

List of atms‚ manufacturer and current locations


1. Tembusu Bitcoin Vending Machine at Spiffy Dapper, 61 Boat Quay 2F‚ Singapore‚ 049849

 2. Lamassu ATM at CityLink Mall,  #B1–K2, 1 Raffles Link Singapore 039393 Singapore

4 Numoni ATMs at the following locations:

The 4Point3 Café at the Singapore Management University at the School of Information Systems at 80 Stamford Road B1-61A, Singapore 178902

Dynasty Audio N Cameras Pte Ltd, 1 Rochor Canal Road, 02–29 Sim Lim Square, Singapore 188504.

Afeita Pte Ltd.304 Orchard Road, #02-48 Lucky Plaza, Singapore 238863.

Pic n Pixel Singapore Pte Ltd, 109 north Bridge Road, 04–16 Funan Digitalife Mall Singapore 179097 — at Sim Lim Square.

6 ATMs to choose from in buying bitcoins as you give yourself a rewarding bitcoin gaming experience only SBO Bitcoin can bring. Join us here!

Credits: Bitcoin Singapore

New Bitcoin Vending Machine in Finland

Helsinki, Finland – From operating as an internet kiosk on Helsinki Central Train Station‚ Deltacom Finland Oy added attraction to their waning kiosk by vending bitcoin.

As smartphones play part in most if not all of the citizens, this may be a saving effort as trail phase commenced in the stations Pasila and the western harbor.

“We are going to sell bitcoins in four automaton about a month. Then‚ it is considered worthwhile to extend to other kiosks‚” says President and CEO Mika Reinikainen. –
Bitcoin in Finland is viewed as a commodity. – bloomberg
“Considering the definition of an official currency as set out in law‚ it′s not that. It′s also not a payment instrument‚ because the law stipulates that a payment instrument must have an issuer responsible for its operation‚” Paeivi Heikkinen‚ head of oversight at the Bank of Finland in Helsinki‚ said in a Jan. 16 phone interview. “At this stage it’s more comparable to a commodity.”
“Finns can enter into agreements on which means of exchange they want to use‚” Heikkinen said. “No one supervises or regulates it‚no one guarantees it and its value has fluctuated hugely. It’s at your own risk.”


Why Bitcoin Matters for Africa


From June through August of this past year I backpacked through southern Africa, and the poverty of Zimbabwe really struck me. It’s a country graced with incredible natural beauty, and cursed by decades of misrule. Zimbabwe suffered from the second worst hyperinflation on record; it reached an absurd 231,000,000% in the summer of 2008. To put it in real terms, that means that the price of goods doubled every 25 hours. To look at it another way, if you started with 100k today, tomorrow your purchasing power would be cut to 50k. A week later, you’d be down to 7k, and within a month, you would essentially be unable to buy anything.


Reading about an indeterminate number of zeros being added monthly to price tags in a country on another continent is one thing; listening to a woman tell you her child died because the local hospital couldn’t afford to stock simple antibiotics is another entirely. The emotional weight of her story was such that for the rest of the day, I wandered around the town feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. Surely there must be a way to prevent something like this from happening again?

The hyperinflation that crippled the Zimbabwean economy was not the product of some greater, unstoppable economic force. It was the direct result of currency manipulation and irresponsible printing of money. The Mugabe government did so to finance wars in the Congo, pay off debts, and inflate the salaries of high-ranking military and government officials.

Full article here